Lowe's Companies Inc. (LOW): Today's Featured Retail Winner

Lowe's Companies ( LOW) pushed the Retail industry higher today making it today's featured retail winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 2.0%. By the end of trading, Lowe's Companies rose $0.62 (1.5%) to $41.15 on average volume. Throughout the day, 7,745,391 shares of Lowe's Companies exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 8,305,700 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $40.69-$41.38 after having opened the day at $40.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $40.53. Other companies within the Retail industry that increased today were: Destination XL Group ( DXLG), up 70.9%, Christopher & Banks Corporation ( CBK), up 13.9%, Sears Hometown & Outlet Stores ( SHOS), up 7.7% and Stein Mart ( SMRT), up 6.7%.

Lowe's Companies, Inc. operates as a home improvement retailer. It offers products for maintenance, repair, remodeling, and home decorating. Lowe's Companies has a market cap of $42.4 billion and is part of the services sector. The company has a P/E ratio of 22.6, above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 14.1% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 8 analysts that rate Lowe's Companies a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 11 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Lowe's Companies as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, solid stock price performance, notable return on equity and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow.

On the negative front, U.S. Auto Parts Network ( PRTS), down 4.2%, GNC Holdings ( GNC), down 3.0%, QKL Stores ( QKLS), down 2.9% and Acorn International ( ATV), down 2.4% , were all laggards within the retail industry with L Brands ( LTD) being today's retail industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the retail industry could consider SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT) while those bearish on the retail industry could consider ProShares Ultra Sht Consumer Goods ( SZK).

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